I have a confession to make.
I used to be a fan of Keith Olbermann.
Now, before you get worked up, it was when he was just a gun on ESPN. It was before he decided he needed to get into discussing politics. I can’t say it was before he was deranged, mostly because I don’t know when his derangement started, but it was before it was so obvious to the rest of us.
Why am I talking about Olbermann, though?
Well, probably because he stepped in it again.
It started with a simple tweet:
The #SecondAmendment is as American a right as freedom of speech, religion, & the press.
Today I unveiled my bill to make the AR-15 the National Gun of America. We must send a message that we will meet every attack on any of our constitutional rights. pic.twitter.com/R7Yi6J10nh
— Rep. Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) February 21, 2023
Now, this is a nothing story. It won’t do much of anything, though I find it amusing and would love to see it pass, but it’s unlikely to be signed into law by this administration, so it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Olbermann, however, had to try and show off a bit and replied with this:
Funny 2A doesn't include the word "own" or any synonym
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2023
That’s a bold statement to make. After all, how can one keep and bear arms if they don’t actually own any? It makes no sense.
Yet Twitter isn’t exactly a venue known for reasoned debate. It’s a platform for pithy one-liners and that level of stupid is likely to require a lot more than 240 characters. It’ll take, I don’t know, a thousand words, maybe?
Luckily, Twitter also allows pictures, and Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer used to beautifully.
Can't stop, won't stop. https://t.co/z4Tc4IalN3 pic.twitter.com/7zkbLsIGll
— Amy Swearer (@AmySwearer) February 23, 2023
That’s right, a screenshot from Dictionary.com showing just how wrong Olbermann is.
However, let’s also face one inescapable fact. Olbermann is far from the only person to try to get hyperliteral on the Second Amendment, generally without actually knowing the text particularly well.
First, it’s funny that the people who declare abortion a constitutional right or cry about the separation of church and state would get that literal about the specific words used in the Second Amendment. Neither the phrase “separation of church and state” nor the word “abortion” appears, either, but suddenly that’s not an issue. Funny how that shakes out.
Second, though, is that a lot of people trip over themselves over this attempt at being literal. They claim that the Second Amendment says nothing about carrying guns, despite protecting the right to “bear arms.” It’s not even a term that’s particularly archaic. We still talk about people’s “cross to bear,” for example. People know that bearing something can mean carrying it.
I mean, at least the phrase “well regulated” is rarely used today in the same manner it was in the 1780s. I get why people get confused on that one, though claims that it justifies gun control are still wrong. Yet words like “keep” and “bear” aren’t remotely in the same camp.
So why go down such an empty and fruitless path in an effort to try and oppose the Second Amendment by claiming it doesn’t stay things it clearly does?
In my more charitable moments, I have to believe it’s simply because they don’t know the text. They don’t know what the words actually are, so they assume there’s no mention of something because they don’t know that there is.
Then in my less charitable moods, I just figure they’re lying and hoping people don’t know any better.
Regardless, Olbermann got “owned” by Swearer. He should probably be used to being owned on Twitter by now.